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The Dundee Courier

Ten Years of Pain


The Courier’s campaign first began in 2015 when it exposed the full extent of the scandal concerning Sam Eljamel, the former head of neurosurgery at the city’s Ninewells Hospital.

Courier reporter Graeme Strachan’s investigation revealed that the surgeon may have lied about his medical credentials and had performed botched surgeries, leaving one patient with short-term memory less, the loss of vision in their left eye and facial disfigurement. The surgeon is believed to have harmed several other patients.

At the time, calls for a public inquiry were rejected, after mistaken assurances were made by health board chiefs. The Courier continued to follow the story, continuing to follow the victims’ ordeal. It was only after the news brand revealed the findings that an NHS Tayside investigation into the surgeon was launched.

In September 2023, plans to initiate a full inquiry were announced – after eight years of campaigning from the Courier. David Clegg, the editor, said: “The news that the Scottish Government will finally hold a public inquiry into the scandal of rogue NHS Tayside doctor Sam Eljamel is a huge victory for his victims and also for the Courier’s journalism.

“I genuinely believe that without the vital work of our team, Eljamel’s victims would still be waiting for the full public inquiry they so desperately want.

“This reinforces the need for regional journalists to continue to hold public institutions to account and to fight for the interests and causes that matter to the communities we serve.”

HTFP reported that Humza Yousaf, Scottish First Minister, told MSPs in Holyrood that the inquiry was decided upon after “very careful consideration” of the “extremely disturbing” findings of a due diligence review into NHS Tayside.

In March 2024, Scottish Health Secretary Neil Gray published a piece in the Courier detailing next steps for the inquiries into the disgraced surgeon.

“I would also like to acknowledge the role of The Courier in giving them a voice and raising the profile of this important issue.

Scottish Health Secretary Neil Gray